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Fei Pin Ying QiangCh34 - The Situations at Hand

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The emperor read the entirety of the memorial censuring Prince Chun and set it aside indifferently. Then he picked up another one. Somewhat exhausted, he rubbed at his forehead and asked, “Have there been any news from the northwest region?”

Grand Secretary Yuan Rong said, “Reporting to Your Majesty, there has been none.” CNTmIt

The emperor nodded. He continued to read over the memorials. A while later, an interior supervision eunuch rushed to his side and whispered something to his ears. The emperor’s hand paused, a slight frown on his face.

After a long time, he grunted his acknowledgment.

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Yuan Rong asked, “Your Majesty, this official will send away these proposals first.”

“Alright.” LUp3 E

Yuan Rong bowed and carried the already-checked memorials away. A young eunuch came to report that the Minister of War, Ji Hansong, was asking for an audience. The emperor waved his hand and the eunuch moved all the way to the side, before leaving the hall to invite Ji Hansong in.

Ji Hansong’s motive for coming here was to talk about the situation at the northwest region. In these past few days, the emperor did not make any movements. It was uncertain whether he truly did not care or if he was showing others what to do yet not following the same standard himself. Ji Hansong was someone trapped in the same boat as Prince Chun. To plan his next step, he needed to uncover the emperor’s intention.

Ji Hansong spoke of the military situation. “Yushu Pass is easy to invade but hard to defend. His Highness, Prince Chun, slayed three Western Owl Yakshas, causing the Qiang people not to dare make trouble for many days. Truly a difficult task to achieve. Today, this official read the military reports of years ago. Whichever battle the Twelve Western Owl Yakshas participated in, our Great State of Kang would suffer many casualties. The first time His Highness had gone to battle brought such a great result. This official asks Your Majesty to reward Prince Chun in order to boost morale.”

As soon as the emperor had heard these words, he said, “Beloved minister has a point.” L705H4

Ji Hansong was overjoyed.

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But the emperor continued to say, “However, if it’s only a defensive victory, and if we reward them just like that, one would fear it would bring those generals who guarded the border for many years discontent. And We don’t want Prince Chun to easily give birth to arrogance. In Our opinion, We promise that beloved official can personally announce Our imperial edict once Prince Chun returns in triumph. How about that?”

Body already drenched with cold sweat, Ji Hansong quickly said, “This official is slow witted, this official is slow witted. May Your Majesty bestow punishment.”

The emperor gently said, “For what reason must We punish you? You are dismissed. Wait until Prince Chun’s triumphant return. We still need you to send Our imperial edict at that time.” 0y5dOg

Ji Hansong kowtowed with much force. Then he retreated. However, others saw his sorry appearance and inevitably formed conjectures for why that was. The next day, others criticized Prince Chun for not leading troops to battle again. And there were even more memorials censuring Prince Chun that suspected that his military merit was fraudulent.

But those memorials would happen later. Back in the present, the emperor waited until Ji Hansong left, before asking a nearby eunuch, “Princess Consort Chun went to the Palace of Bright Sun?”

“Her Highness, Princess Consort Chun, has been here for almost one hour,” said the eunuch.

The emperor laughed, the meaning behind it unknown. A while later, he said, “We hear that Princess Consort Qing always visits the palace.” 0yxron

The eunuch, Huang Ling, smiled. “This slave has heard that Princess Consort Qing often comes to cry to Noble Consort Yuan. It’s usually about how His Highness, Prince Qing, always goes out to play, causing Princess Consort Qing loneliness. Because she is so young, she came to ask her mother-in-law to help her.”

The emperor shook his head, smiling bitterly. “My third son is still young too. Indeed, he is still young and ignorant.”

Huang Ling said, “It is the Eldest Princess Consort who is the most virtuous and able, never in discord with His Highness, Prince Jing, and treats his two sons as her own.”

The emperor did not comment on that. The smile he had previously worn gradually vanished. After Princess Consort Chun had entered the imperial palace and Ji Hansong had met with the emperor, he already knew the reason. Xr9mBa


In a gentle manner, the empress said, “You are with child right now. Why are you crying? Don’t worry. Since they are rumors, they are naturally untrue. His Majesty will also not take it to heart.”

We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.

Qi Niqun wiped the tears from her eyes. She earnestly said, “Daughter-in-law can only count on Imperial Mother.”

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Hl Rldec gertfv ab rjs, “ Pwqfglji Zbatfg vbfr cba xcbk, yea Hl Tecgeb’r ylgat wbatfg lr j qgbralaeaf. Vtf kjr qgfnlberis atf wbra yfjealoei kbwjc lc atf mjqlaji, Vtel Olcuibcu. Hl Tecgeb ifjgcfv ogbw tlr wbatfg atf obz-ilxf aglmxr bo qifjrlcu jcv rfvemlcu wfc. Lf vlv cba ugbk eq lc Jbeca Ilsjcu’r frajaf. Hl Tecgeb tlv tlr agef cjaegf ogbw Zbatfg jcv wf rb atja kf kbeiv rfcv tlw ab atf qglcmf frajaf. Llr Llutcfrr tjr cfnfg tjv j qfgrbc klat rb wjcs rmtfwfr klat tlw yfobgf jcv kjr mjeuta ecjkjgf. Zjs Pwqfglji Zbatfg ajix rbwf rfcrf lcab tlw.” PbwWFa

“…I have indeed heard of the name Shui Linglong before.” A smile blossomed on the empress’ lips.


The northwest border, Yushu Pass.

Li Chen stood on top the walls of Yushu Pass’ main gate. He gazed at the mountains far away. Within the pass, the rumors about him were as abundant as dust. Li Chen did not have people suppress them.

Qi Yunruo felt a little worried. But Li Chen only said, “The rumors will be stopped by the wise. If I punish those who spread the rumors, people will think that I’m rushing to suppress them because they’re true.” ZHArXL

As he had said these words, there was a sense of self-deprecation. Angrily, Qi Yunruo said, “Those villains have tarnished Your Highness’ name.”

Li Chen smiled but did not say anything.

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Actually, the one who should be blamed for not attacking the Qiang people was Zhao Weidou. But because Li Chen’s identity was higher, people forgot his status as a Commander of a Hundred. Zhao Weidou sent a lot of spies to uncover the location of the Qiang encampment. However, they were unsuccessful. The Qiang people were more familiar with the landscape than they were. Not to mention, Xinyuan Country made a map of the area that was very detailed and clear. And the Qiang people did not need to spend money to get those maps. On the contrary, the people of the Great State of Kang needed to guard the pass year after year, and they only needed to guard it, nothing else. In the end, they did not know much about what was beyond the pass.

The map that Li Chen was using only showed some of the important landmarks. The spies that they had sent out recently also came back with many details. But the places they had yet to investigate still proved dangerous. nWizF1

Zhao Weidou and Si De waited for the Qiang people to strike, especially those led by Bo Tu Ke and the Western Owl tribe’s Nu Bi Ha. Half a month later, Li Chen, who was waiting for the enemy’s attack, was met with a cruel piece of news.

The leader of the Qiang people, Agu Er Mu, was preparing to gift his concubine, Princess Changping Li Yao, to his eldest son Bo Ge as a concubine.

Qi Yunruo remembered on that day, when the spies had arrived to inform Zhao Weidou, Zhao Weidou later went to find the prince. At first, the prince thought it was news about the battlefield. But in the end, Zhao Weidou’s expression was unsightly. Even Qi Yunruo could tell something was wrong. Zhao Weidou hesitatingly relayed the events. The moment Li Chen heard them, he quickly stood. He actually appeared to stagger. Frightened, Qi Yunruo let out a yell and tried to support him. But Li Chen shook off his hand. He gritted out a few words. “They’re too excessive! Agu Er Mu. Bo Tu Ke. Too excessive…”

Zhao Weidou said, “Your Highness… should we attack?” Zhao Weidou was capable of leading troops, but he had to defer to the imperial family. He did not dare to make a decision in haste. aotDAe

Qi Yunruo sent Li Chen an urgent stare. Li Chen sneered. “That they allowed this news to reach my ears, isn’t it to force me to lead the troops out to battle? Perhaps they have already prepared to a great extent.”

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Zhao Weidou frowned. “Could it be that we must watch as the princess—”

Li Chen shot him a frigid stare.

In the Qiang people’s land, once a maiden married, she became subordinate to her husband. Concubines were akin to slaves. When the patriarch of a family passed on, his wives and concubines could be given to his sons. If the patriarch was still alive, he could gift his concubines to anyone. However, Princess Changping was a princess of the Great State of Kang. Her identity was noble and distinguished. Could these barbarians truly do such a thing? O8pkod

Zhao Weidou could not guarantee it. His heart was filled with unhappiness. Right now wasn’t a good time to lead the troops out. However, his country’s honor had been harmed. If the emperor became unhappy, he would be between a rock and a hard place.

Standing at the side, Qi Yunruo recalled how His Highness used to talk about his memories with Princess Changping. He had vowed to bring his eldest sister back to the capital. How would he let his eldest sister suffer such galling shame and deep humiliation? This scheme of the Qiang people was truly too sinister.

Come nightfall, Li Chen summoned his trusted aides and a few generals to deliberate on the situation. They stayed up all night.

Come morning, when Qi Yunruo came out to find him, he realized Li Chen was sitting in the corner of the encampment, a pot of alcohol in his hand. Night proved cold at the border. Qi Yunruo did not know how long he had been sitting there. He quickly supported him inside the quarters. He fetched some hot water. toJ7N5

Li Chen lay down on the bed, lifting a hand. He covered his eyes with it.

As Qi Yunruo helped him warm his body, Li Chen said, “No need. I’m not drunk. I wasn’t there for long. I was only sitting there to have some quiet for a while.”

Not a word left Qi Yunruo’s lips.

In the small house, only Li Chen’s voice could be heard. rwVdk8

“…Actually, eldest sister came to live at the Palace of Merciful Peace after me. When she arrived, I had already been four years old. I did not like grandmother being close to other people and was unhappy when eldest sister appeared. However, when I had fallen ill, the only-eight-years-old eldest sister stayed up all night to take care of me. Fed me medicine… I don’t recall much of my childhood. There was only one thing that I remembered vividly. The hand eldest sister used to hold the bowl of medicine had been shaking. I called out for grandmother, that I didn’t want my sister to feed me. And eldest sister said, ‘grandmother is tired. It’s hard for her to fall asleep, so don’t bother her rest.’”

Qi Yunruo had never experienced the joy of a sibling relationship. He could only listen silently.

“Later on, our relationship became better and better. I didn’t like eldest sister taking care of our other siblings. Eldest sister said I was also an elder brother. So I should learn how to be compassionate toward the younger ones, and share the things I like with them.”

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Li Chen suddenly said, “Have I never told you about my grandmother?” iapseN

“Empress Dowager Lan is a person worthy of respect,” said Qi Yunruo.

“Grandmother helped Imperial Father find a way out from the most dangerous path. For this reason, whenever I come across difficult situations, I cannot help but think, if grandmother were in the same situation, what would she do?”

Qi Yunruo said, “If the empress dowager were here, would she send out the troops?”

A moment of silence. “She would.” g8zLGn

Qi Yunruo watched him, his gaze revealing surprise.

“Grandmother is a decisive person. She would never hesitate. Back when eldest sister chose to enter a political marriage, the one who could not bear to see her go the most was grandmother. However, grandmother only nodded without hesitation. Even so, she knelt in the temple and prayed to Buddha to protect eldest sister. She did not sleep for three days. After eldest sister left, I was always with grandmother… Finally, it made Imperial Mother unhappy. Back then, I had been young and not sensible. One time, I argued with Imperial Mother.” As Li Chen entered the painful memories, his gaze filled with deep sadness.

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Qi Yunruo held his hand and stood by his side without a word.

“I said Imperial Mother did not respect grandmother and was unfilial. And that I would not recognize her as my mother.” DQiTGl

Qi Yunruo looked into Li Chen’s eyes. He could almost feel his sadness and regret.

“After grandmother heard these words, she slapped me immediately. She told me to kneel before Imperial Mother and beg for forgiveness. At that time, I did not understand why she had done this. That was the first time grandmother hit me. And it was the only time… When I think about it now, perhaps it was because back then grandmother and I just lost someone close to us, and our emotions were unstable. Grandmother was furious with me and told me to live with my Imperial Mother in the Palace of Bright Sun.”

Li Chen’s voice grew softer with each word. “But I was unwilling to leave. After grandmother kicked me out, I knelt outside of the Palace of Merciful Peace. When night came, grandmother said behind the door that she was sorry for what she had done to the relationship between Imperial Mother and me. She also said that before I matured, we could not meet.”

“So this was why Her Majesty the empress dowager…” Qi Yunruo looked at Li Chen and finally understood why every time Li Chen mentioned the empress dowager, he would look so depressed. v4bR2c

“Later on, I grew afraid and went to the Palace of Bright Sun to live with Imperial Mother. I thought after I was bestowed a title and given my own palace, the doors to the Palace of Merciful Peace would open. But that wasn’t the case. Then I thought after I married, grandmother would come see me. But she still did not…

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“Everyone said that grandmother hated Imperial Mother because the Zhou family was suppressing the Lan family. And then took me away to raise herself. But only I understood… that Grandmother was just lonely.”


The Qiang people’s encampment, tent of the royals.

Bo Tu Ke cut a proud figure. He said to Nu Bi Ha, who was by his side, “One would fear that prince already knows your good scheme.” EQhSqd

Nu Bi Ha said, “There’s something this subordinate doesn’t understand. This subordinate’s idea was for Your Highness to ask the Chanyu to gift the Han Princess to you. Instead, your honored self asked the Chanyu to gift the Han Princess to the eldest prince. Does your honored self not like the princess?”

“What’s good about Han women?” said Bo Tu Ke insipidly. “I only like the women of us Qiang people. Those Han women love to be so pretentious. In the past, Father gifted me a maidservant of the princess. She cried all day every day. Totally uninteresting. A few days later, she died.”

A strange smile slid its way across Nu Bi Ha’s lips. “But Your Highness, the taste of those Han women is exotic compared to our own women.”

The clicking of a tongue. “Do you think I don’t know you? You’re hardly a gentleman with women. Which of the Han women you had grabbed lived longer than half a month?” MNH3aj

Nu Bi Ha burst into laughter.

Bo Tu Ke sneered. “That Han princess isn’t as gentle and weak as she appears. All these years, I have never seen her suffer losses. From now on, Bo Ge will have a headache.” He glanced at Nu Bi Ha. “Once we kill the emperor and the prince, you can have as many princesses you want. If you want Princess Changping, I can seize her from Bo Ge.”

Nu Bi Ha imagined the moment when he would seize Princess Changping from Bo Ge. His eyes narrowed as he smiled. A while later, he said, “Aren’t those Han people all about keeping up appearances for their family? If that prince does not lead troops to battle, he will be branded a coward. If he does, our Qiang army is prepared.”

Bo Tu Ke and Nu Bi Ha toasted, their cups clinking. Then they both laughed, loud and resounding. Fhasry

Not far from the royal’s tent of the Qiang, a man dressed to the nines stood with a dark expression. Emotions unstable, he stared at the direction in which Li Yao lived.

His attendant said, “This in fact is a good scheme. Whether or not Prince Chun leads the troops out, he can’t get the upper hand. What is it, Your Highness? Your honored self does not seem happy.”

Cheng Sijie sucked in a deep breath. Cold and light, he said, “This King is just thinking that Princess Li’s skill in guqin is immense and she has the best tea with her. I wonder if it’ll be wasted on Bo Ge.”

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

The attendant said, “With what this subordinate knows, that Prince Bo Ge is not as simple as others believe. He isn’t skilled in martial arts, but his thinking and scheming is great. Bo Tu Ke and his posse cannot win against him.” Yrks24

Cheng Sijie muttered, “But his schemes are so exquisite. He would not be like Agu Er Mu, treating a Han princess as if she were nothing special. If…”

The attendant fell silent. Then he said, “Your Highness, is your honored self thinking about stopping Bo Ge from taking Princess Li as a concubine?”

Cheng Sijie stayed quiet for a long time, to the point where his attendant thought he would not get to hear his master’s answer. Then, Cheng Sijie softly said, “No.”

In the capital, news of the emperor firmly reprimanding the Minister of War after he asked for forgiveness for Prince Chun, and that Princess Consort Chun asked all around for others to help Prince Chun, had already spread. 0g5IdD


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Thank you to my lovely patrons Michelle S., Selena G., Oyinkansola O., Hafsa A., Pitcch, Kimberly, RongZhi, Auresta, Fl3xus, Agita P.,  Angela S., Elena P., Amanda F., Laetitia, Lonelyreader, Reisha R., Tangerine Nazneen H., and last but not least Michelle!

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Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Even though the empress dowager hasn’t come on screen yet, I really like her. She’s a strong and wise woman that dotes on her family. You can tell by how Li Chen address her as “grandmother” and the empress as “Imperial Mother” that he is way closer to the empress dowager. MS4Wob

Looks like that Xinyuan Country King (Cheng Sijie) as hidden feelings for Li Chen’s sister…

Little Qi supported Li Chen during his venting in such a quiet, thoughtful manner. Really touched my heart.

If you’re interested in advanced chapters, please do not pledge until February 1st! There are no advanced chapters left this month. Read this post for more detail.

And if you enjoyed this chapter, please rate and add this novel to your reading list on CG and NU! Also, comments are love! QEpIzK

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Translator's Note

内阁大学士. The Grand Secretaries were nominally mid-level officials, ranked much lower than the Ministers, heads of the Ministries. However, since they screened documents submitted to the emperor from all governmental agencies, and had the power of drafting suggested rescripts for the emperor, some senior Grand Secretaries were able to dominate the whole government, acting as de facto Chancellor

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12 comments

  1. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Helvetica Neue’}

    Thanks for the chapter! Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year!!

    Gods, I never want to be anywhere near those in power, everyone is a tool to be used and discarded, the manipulations & back stabbings just don’t stop.

    The grandmother destroyed the relationship between mother & child, making said child an unusable pawn for the Empress, the foolish wife made things worse for the prince by running to plead, something is very strange with our cutie’s mother, the Empress’ reaction was weird, the Emperor is playing a long game, the prince is very conveniently taking the blame without having the authority, which means that should he act, he would fall under suspicion for overstepping, the enemy guys are creeps, … & I just want all this to be over…

    I wanted the war to be a good excuse for the little couple to develop feelings far away from the nest of vipers called home, but this is all quite dry & depressing… Something interesting (& not boring fighting, melodrama or manipulations) better happen soon before I loose patience…

    I guess the only thing that would make sense is if somehow our helpless MC gained something from this…

    Sorry for the rant, it’s late…

    • Haha no worries! I had fun reading your rant ^^ In the end, I don’t understand the empress train of thought. Even though Li Chen is no longer pawn material due to the empress dowager, in the end this is her full blooded son. She’d still be the most noble empress dowager once Li Chen becomes the emperor… Unless she wants to rule in the shadows? Either way, if she has half a brain, she should understand that the emperor doesn’t have high hopes for her other son, the Fourth Prince. With a title like “Yong” (which means mediocre/ordinary), that’s already a sign to give up.

  2. Li Chen’s playing the long game, he can be cool-headed and persevering despite the heartache it causes him, which is a must for a leader, a ruler. And Little Qi is priceless – so remarkably selfless, getting angry on the prince’s behalf, but not because his name’s tarnished as well.

    The rest of the characters performed as expected – the Qiang leaders are huge b*stards, the empress is narrow-minded and scheming and Qi Niqun is a benighted fool.

    I wonder if Cheng Sijie can be used to turn the tide in favour of the Han people…

    Thank you for the chapter! ❤

  3. Thank you as always for the update!

    Our little Qi is so supportive of Li Chen & quick to understand him! When he’s combined with Li Chen, the effect is something like a variable output nuclear warhead — with superior strategic skill. I’ll stake a reasonable bet that the Qiang dirtbags will be first to learn that. Though I doubt they’ll last long afterwards. Oh and someone, please smack Qi Niqun in the head. Thank you! 🙂

    • ” ’ll stake a reasonable bet that the Qiang dirtbags will be first to learn that.” <- Haha well there’ll be some battle scenes in a couple chapters. I hope I can do them justice with my translation, and thanks for reading!